Since graduating from Leadership Jackson County in 2019, Crystal Stuckwisch has been looking for the right opportunity to serve.
She and her husband, Justin Stuckwisch, recently were approached by Brian Wheeler about a vacancy for the Ward 3 representative on the Brownstown Town Council. Gary Drake recently moved out of town, leaving the seat open.
After talking to Jackson County Republican Party Chairwoman Amanda Lowery, Crystal applied for the position and was the only person to do so.
The Brownstown precinct committeemen chose Crystal during a caucus Oct. 14, she was sworn in by Jackson Superior Court I Judge AmyMarie Travis on Oct. 16 and attended her first meeting Oct. 19.
Crystal, 39, has worked as a financial analyst for Kocolene Development Corp. in Seymour for 14 years, and she said the company really promotes community involvement.
"I went through Leadership Jackson County, and I just was really wanting to do something but not actively looking. Then this came up," she said of the council vacancy. "I have a senior and she’s our only really active child, so I’m starting to find some free time. I had been keeping my ears open, and Brian approached and asked if we would be interested."
She then spoke to Lowery, who filled her in on what the council does and how it’s broken into five wards.
"I felt it was a good fit," Crystal said. "She spoke very highly of this group and how well they are doing and what they’ve been doing, and I’ve been reading articles in the paper every time they come up, so I’ve seen and read the positive things they were doing. I thought that was something I would like to be a part of."
Crystal joins President Gregg Goshorn and members Sharon Koch, Tim Robinson and Mark Robinson on the council.
She said she’s familiar with Reynolds and Koch since they have children in her daughter’s class, and Goshorn coached one of her kids’ soccer teams. Plus, Clerk-Treasurer David Willey did her confirmation at church.
That gave her comfort participating in her first council meeting.
"I’ve never been to one of these meetings. I’ve never been a part of anything like this," Crystal said. "Familiar faces really made it less intimidating knowing that they are all good, nice people."
She’s ready and willing to learn about the council’s responsibilities, including working with the town’s police, street, wastewater and park departments.
"I’m looking forward to learning more of that," she said. "We’re very fortunate to have a really good community. You have to work to keep things like that, especially in today’s ever-changing world."
Having grown up in the Clearspring area, graduated from Brownstown Central High School in 1999 and lived in Brownstown since 2005, Crystal is excited about the opportunity to serve the community.
"I’ve always been around Brownstown, so I’ve watched it change and grow, and I’ve watched other leaders in the community and really respect the people that have done things prior to (her service) because good things don’t just happen. You have to keep that orchestrated," she said.
"I’m really proud of Brownstown, I love red and black (the school colors) and I love this town, so I want other people to love it, too," she said. "I want people to feel comfortable here. Transparency, I think, is great. It’s easy to know what’s going on in this town, and I think that’s important. I think it’s important for people to feel comfortable in questioning things and reaching out to their (ward) person."
She will complete Drake’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2023.
"I was glad the term was three years so I can get a real feel for it," Crystal said. "I told Amanda getting into something where I’m going to run against somebody, I’m not there yet. Hopefully, I love this and then it’s something I want to fight to stay a part of if the time were to come."
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Name: Crystal Stuckwisch
Education: Brownstown Central High School (1999); Ivy Tech Community College (associate degree in accounting, 2002)
Occupation: Financial analyst for Kocolene Development Corp.; new Ward 3 representative on the Brownstown Town Council
Family: Husband, Justin; children, Rehgen, Sloan and Spencer